In a recent judgment, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India observed that the judges are not and cannot be experts in all fields and, therefore, they must exercise great restraint and should not overstep their jurisdiction to upset the opinion of the experts.
The judgment was passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the matter of U.P.P.S.C. through its Chairman Vs. Rahul Singh SLP (C) Nos. 12472 of 2018 decided on 14.06.2018.
In the appeal filed by the Commission/ Appellant, it has been urged that the High Court of Allahabad transgressed its jurisdiction and went beyond the scope of judicial review available in such cases and it should not have overruled the view of the Commission which was based on the report of two committees of experts.
The question before the Supreme Court was what is the extent and power of the Court is to interfere in matters of academic nature.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India observed that the High Court of Allahabad over stepped its jurisdiction by giving the directions which amounted to setting aside the decision of experts in the field.
The Hon’ble Apex Court by applying the laws laid down in Kanpur University, through Vice Chancellor and Others vs. Samir Gupta and Others (1983) 4 SCC 309, held that the Constitutional Courts must exercise great restraint in academic matters and should be reluctant to entertain a plea challenging the correctness of the key answers.
The Hon’ble Court further observed that in the facts of the present case, even before publishing the first list of key answers, the Commission had got the key answers moderated by two expert committees. Under such a circumstance, it can be presumed that these committees consisted of experts in various subjects for which the examinees were tested. Judges cannot take on the role of experts in academic matters. Unless, the candidate demonstrates that the key answers are patently wrong on the face of it, the courts cannot enter into the academic field, weigh the pros and cons of the arguments given by both sides and then come to the conclusion as to which of the answer is better or more correct.